Dichotomy of Anger and Peace


I recently read Leonard Read‘s book – or collection of essays really – titled Having My Way.  It’s available for free from the Mises Institute and do recommend it.

I commonly read on the bus to and from work.  This gives me a good 30-40 minutes of reading time; and the other 20-30 mins of driving/walking is usually passed with music or an audio book.  So with the stage set, I was reading Having My Way one morning, and when I made the transition from reading to listening, the song that came up was Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine.

Why is this relevant?  Because I think the messages given by Read and Rage are often similar.

Am I being retarded? I don’t think so.  The difference is, and it is distinct is Read’s Peace to Rage’s … well, Rage.  Read’s message throughout his book is about freedom and obtaining it through peaceful means from those who would have their way with you.  Rage’s music is related.  Lyrically they often call for freedom from oppression, freedom to have your own way.

What struck me when I Killing in the Name came up, was the contrast between anger and peace.  While I enjoy the music of Rage, and while their anger is justified; any actions coming from such anger will likely be unjustified or hypocritical in that it will remove freedom from others.  Through anger, rage and hate I would most likely gain my “freedom” through the oppression and slavery of others.  Becoming, essentially part of the Machine that is so worthy of receiving Rage.

As is becoming a common theme in this blog, the conclusion to draw from this introspection is once again self-control and self-realization.  Anger is a justified emotion, anger against the pain and suffering that is caused by “the machine” of slavery theft and control.  Anger against the stunted growth on humanity that leaders have caused.  But that anger should also be directed at ourselves, because truly all this happens because of human choices, our own personal preferences.  Anger may be justified, but hate only brings more slavery  pain, suffering and stunted growth into the world.

Let him that would save the world first move himself.
-Socrates (Taken from Ch1 of Having My Way)


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